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The Oops and Ouches of 2013

IndiaGlitz [Wednesday, December 18, 2013]

There is music in the air, all theatres run packed on all evenings, symbolizing the famous music season. What will follow is the most awaited holiday stretch at this time of the year, world over - Christmas. And then comes the happy new year. All these are signs of 12 months drawing to a close; that's 365 days of expectations, entertainment, bustle and hard work at the world of glam and glitz. From controversies to achievements, there are a lot of headlines on the pages of Kollywood. But there are also a few which did not make it that big, despite the peaking expectations vested on those movies, before release. There are the big hits on one hand, and the also-ran's on the other; this here, is an analysis of the latter.

This year's Pongal surprise was promised to be a comic riot, which only ended up disappointing audience, especially the families that hoped for a happy weekend. We are talking about Karthi's opening note 'Alex Pandian', which was plotted to be good winning over evil, became a disorganized mess of innuendos. Santhanam's comedy was said to be a stress buster which backfired, pulling down the health of the movie as a whole. This, coming from Suraj, the director of 'Padikathavan' and 'Mappillai' was rather disappointing.

Next in line is the much anticipated Tamil-Hindi bilingual, with fairly different stories bordering on a similar thread - 'David'. Set out to be a gangster comedy flick from the famed director Bejoy Nambiar of the silent short film 'Reflections', the bilingual brought to Tamil audience was about two Davids from different backgrounds, and in different sorts of troubles; in Hindi, it was three of them across individual time zones and different time periods. From bringing a Hindi director to Tamil, to taking Kolly composer Anirudh to Bolly, 'David' was a first of sorts, all miserably failing to appeal commercially. Although it enjoys a cool 6.1 on IMDB, this one here, was not well remembered off the cuff.

There is no dearth of creativity in our land; and  when a concept is well appreciated, it will be imported for the local audience too. One such raging hit was 'Delhi Belly', which fell flat on its stomach and face, back here as 'Settai'. Three roommates, a gangster, a beautiful air-hostess, pressing confusion and a lots of laughter - that's all about 'Delhi Belly'. 'Settai' on the other hand was not received as well as it was aimed to be. Everyone in general rated 'Settai' to be a watered down version of 'Delhi Belly', while it was pointed out by critics that its screenplay lacked the racy feel it carried back in B-town. The film however managed to make 30+ crores at the box office; but the verdict remains unaltered - it might have tickled you, had you been careful not to catch up with the rush to watch 'Delhi Belly'.

Director Mani Ratnam's comeback is yet another sad story. The film's music continues to be chart buster, from the single-track release days. 'Kadal' brought in Karthik's son Gautam and Radha's daughter Thulasi Nair as the lead pair, backed with ARR music, set in the backdrop of sea. Mid-2013 saw the result of months-long anticipation. Bharat Bala as director, AR Rahman's music, Dhanush in the lead, plot of the Sudan fishermen victims the world spoke about - 'Maryan'. Everything about the film made headlines - the finely crafted songs to the picture perfect canning. It is one of the most well received films of all times, worldwide. But, K-town didn't quite receive it that well. Both the sea-based movies rose like a wave, but fell like every other tide at the shore, here on the Kollywood front.

It has to be given to Selvaraghavan to think out of the box. But like it has happened many-a-times, audience seem to prefer rigmarole over alien uniqueness. With a challenging new concept in mind and his trademark screenplay, Selva set out on the expedition of the faraway fantasy world. There were lauded pluses equally weighed down by the inconceivable minuses, by Tamil audience. 'Irandam Ulagam' received more pelting than pats, though it has managed to reach the difficult mark in world rating. After his hugely successful 'Raja Rani' and 'Arrambam', 'Irandam Ulagam' at about 35 crore rupee loss was an anticlimax to Arya's high trend.

Jeyam Ravi in dual roles, in Ameer's direction - that's recipe for a perfect entertainer. But that did not quite happen in reality. The gangster movie was clearly in trouble, even before its release; last minute alterations, rendering it 'Ameerin Aadhi Bhagavan', from the highly controversial title we wouldn't dare mention, the flick finally made it to the big screens in mid first quarter of the year. Although the film was fairly successful in scraping a positive trend curve at the box office, quoting the Malaysian reviewer, neither Aadhi nor Bhagavan could save the movie.

With the legacy of decades into established entertainment, there is one virtue in common with everyone here in K-town - expectations. It can put a movie in the roost, or may even pull it down and bury it deep under the soil. Adding to the list of sad stories is director Bharathiraja's comeback 'Annakodi' (which again, will be remembered for its title which went for a hip cut), 'Moondru Per Moondru Kadhal', and second in a row for Karthi, 'All in All Azhaguraja' - a pleasant bouquet of disappointment for director Rajesh's fans. Sadly, 'Thalaivaa' also makes it to this list, owing primarily to its deferred release in Tamil Nadu, apart from the sheer length of the gangster movie. This year also saw Dhanush's flick fail miserably, with 'Naiyandi'. One of the most recent disappointments has come from the anticipated thriller sequel, which turned out to be a myriad of scientific interpretations at a posh physics classroom - 'Villa'.

Every movie comes out with a dream, but not all make it to reality. You never know when expectations can let you down. In an eventful year, this is a small list of movies we could pull up, which have upset the masses. But this is an opinion limited only to the Tamil audience at large. With this, we extend our sincere prayers to the almighty that the movies to come in the next few weeks, do not add up to this collection.

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